I strongly believe that people have the power to change lives. As a Watson Fellow, I was excited to continue to discover this in different countries, communities and cultures. When I meet someone, I always look for the good that is inside of them. In deep conversations about their work, hobbies and pet peeves, I patiently listen and wait until they reveal their shining light. Every time this occurs I am in awe, amazed by the passion and power that people posses.
I believe that God has placed a shining light inside all of us. We just need the chance to let it shine. We need the push and the encouragement to peel of all the layers of fear and self doubt. Once this is done, we can gather all of our confidence and let our light shine. For me this shining light is love. When we decide to truly love ourselves, our family, friends, our enemies and even strangers. Magic starts to happen! Love is everywhere and the shining light that god has given you flows through you and touches everyone around you. When I realized and accepted the shining light that I posses I promised God that I will give others the chance to uncover their shining light.
This is why I’am so passionate about mentoring and youth development. A caring adult can change the life of a child by giving them the chance to uncover their shining light. That is amazing! We ourselves poses the ability to make a positive impact on other people! If that doesn’t get you excited, then I must be going mad!
At the age of 14, when I entered the Family Life Center a program of the Old Colony YMCA ( for families experiencing homelessness), with my mother and sisters, we were mostly excited because we had a place to call our home. But I never thought that I would meet so many caring and loving people. Sometimes I would ask myself, why me? Why do these strangers say hello when they see me and ask me how I’m doing? This did not only happen at the YMCA it also happened when I was in West Junior High School , Brockton high School and even at Wheaton College. In the past nine years, I have had many mentors and I still remember them and the impact that they made in my life. I believe that God placed them in my life at the right place and time. Each one gave me the chance to peel off a layer of fear and self doubt.
During this year of independent travel as a Watson Fellow, I confidently face the world. It feels amazing! As a global citizen I continue to love and let my light shine. With all of the new experiences and challenges that I have faced and the ones that lie ahead, I continue to evolve. I look at myself in the mirror and ask myself, who is this talented, passionate and shining young Women? Then I say yes, it’s me Iraimi Mercado! I love who I’am becoming! As the time goes on and I continue to redefine my story, I will never forget the people that have made an impact in my life. You all know who you are.
Please support Jeff Russell in fundraising with Mass Mentoring partnership to support mentoring by running the 117th Boston Marathon. We all had a person that mentored us and made a positive impact in our lives. Together we can create more chances so that more caring adults can help young children uncover their shining light!
Fundraising site: http://www.razoo.com/story/Jeff-Russell-1
Also, if you are as excited as I am about mentoring . If you would like, share a story with me about someone who has made a positive impact in your life.
Peace and Love
God Bless You